I was so excited. I have tons of women like this. Of course I knew that she had to be attractive, too. Men are highly visual so I always assume they’re looking for someone attractive even though beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Joe left me with such a great feeling that I couldn’t wait to start working with him. Then something changed. As we got one step closer to matchmaking, he became very selective with what the girls should look like. The “very attractive, cool women” he said he was looking for turned into “someone with super model looks”. He sent me a few visual references of his super model “girlfriends”. This really threw me off. I started checking out his ‘online presence’ and was baffled to see pictures of Party Boy Joe surrounded by a bevy of models. Every. Single.Picture. That’s when I realized the online Joe was totally incongruent with the offline Joe. How was this down to earth, authentic, quasi-Buddhist man (who was a bit out of shape) turning into a demanding “super-models-only-please” type? It disturbed me enough to start my own empirical study. I checked out all of our clients’ online presence and found that 20% of them had incongruent impressions of who they really are. It bothered me that people feel the need to portray themselves in a fictitious manner. It wouldn’t be a big deal if the internet wasn’t such a dominant source of information from which we cull all of our information.
If I had Googled Joe before we met, I’m not sure I would have been so open and inclined to work with him because he portrayed an image that was the complete antithesis of a man looking for his wife. What’s more, if the type of woman he originally claimed he was seeking saw the ‘online Joe’, I’m willing to bet she would have had trepidations in meeting him.
Be careful. What you put online is permanent. People quickly judge what they see. Make sure the online you is in harmony with the offline you. The ‘cover of your book’ should reflect the real you because it may be the only first impression people allow you to make.